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Soccer-Scotland defeat Denmark to grab home advantage in playoffs

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By Reuters

GLASGOW – Scotland scored a superb 2-0 win over Denmark in their World Cup Group F qualifying clash on Monday to secure home advantage in the playoffs as they handed the Danes their only defeat of the campaign in front of a packed Hampden Park.

Denmark had already secured their spot in next year’s finals in Qatar by topping the group after reeling off nine straight wins. Monday’s result ensured Scotland finished second, thus advancing to the playoffs.

The hosts needed to win on Monday to ensure they would be among the six seeded teams and get home advantage in the 12-team playoff process, which takes place in March 2022.

The Danes were missing many of the players who helped them to reach the Euro 2020 semi-finals in July but keeper Kasper Schmeichel pulled off a superb reflex save from Che Adams as Steve Clarke’s side started the game at a frenetic pace.

The Scots took the lead in the 35th minute when Liam Cooper headed their eighth corner of the first half back across the goal for fellow defender John Souttar to head home.

Denmark looked a shadow of the side that had blazed a trail through qualifying but they upped the tempo in the second half.

They put the Scottish defence under tremendous pressure for long periods, but the home side were not to be denied.

As the clock ticked towards 90 minutes and the Danes pressed for an equaliser, Adams sealed the win with a brilliant breakaway goal, curling the ball beyond the despairing dive of Schmeichel to send the home fans into ecstasy.